Other Minds

Synthesizers, saxophones, and one African grey parrot: The Other Minds music festival is a magnet for the avant-garde

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By Micah Dubreuil

When Charles Amirkhanian was 5 years old, he received a John Cage record as a gift from his father. It was a mistake — the elder Amirkhanian had taken it to be an album of traditional Armenian music, their cultural heritage. Instead, young Charles was introduced to a sound that was anything but traditional, and in that music for prepared piano, he found a life’s calling. Some 60-odd years later, the director of the Other Minds festival — the West Coast's premiere experimental music event, now in its 19th incarnation — points to that accident as a fairly fortuitous one. Read more »